Willy Tjungurrayi paints his ancestral stories of Tingari and Tali (Sandhills) and Hail Stones. The Hailstones are incorporated to show a dramatic weather event in history. He paints while singing the traditional song lines of his country and the pintupi ancestors.
Willy is a well known senior law man from Kintore and has represented his community nationally and internationally.
Born at Patjantja, south-west of Lake Mackay c.1930 Willy was raised by his fathers brother, Charlie Tarawa Tjungarrayi, who was one of the founding members of the Western Desert pictorial movement. In June of 1974 Willy participated in a visit to Yayayi, Kulkuta and Yawalyuru sponsored by the Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies, an event that also included his brother Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungarrayi, John Tjakamarra, George Yapa Tjangala along with others.
Willy began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976 and joined the move back to the Pintupi homelands during the early ’80s. It was his uncle’s camels and assistance which eventually brought the family and other Pintupi people to Haasts Bluff in December 1956 and from there eventually on to Papunya.
He has since emerged as one of the most well known senior Pintupi painters. He paints the sand hill country north of Kiwikurra, as well as Tingari song cycles. Prior to his death in 2018 Willy moved between the communities in the western desert, periodically coming into Alice springs to paint.
Sadly Willy Tjungurrayi passed away in 2018.